Masking effects

Talk about Pixelmator Pro, share tips & tricks, tutorials, and other resources.
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2018-05-17 16:38:11


my name is Markus. I am new to the community. I have a question. Is it possible to mask an effect?


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2018-05-17 18:25:18

Hi Markus.

Welcome to the community.

Short answer to your question: Yes.

Medium answer: Yes. Sort of.

Longer answer: There are quite a few ways of restricting the area of an effect. In order from quick and dirty to organised an editable some of them are:
Method 1. Use a selection tool to select an area. Apply an effect. Done
Method 2. Copy the area you want to a new layer. Apply the effect to the new layer. Done (and allows you to edit the effect.)
Method 3. Copy the entire layer. Mask off what you don't want to use. Apply the effect to the new layer. Done (and allows you to edit both the effect and the area of the effect.)
Method 4. As 3. but put the new layer in a group by itself and apply the effect to the group. Done (and allows you to edit the effect, the area of the effect, and the content of the layer)

Hope that helps.

- Stef.
(edited because of waffle)
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2018-05-18 05:04:38

Thank you. I thought about these solutions but that gives not the flexibility as smart objects in Photoshop or effect layers in Affinity Photo. I hope masking effects would be a feature in future releases.
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2018-05-18 06:25:16

I'm not at all familiar with recent versions of Photoshop but gave a passing familiarity with Affinity Photo. Can you tell me how to mask an effect in Affinity Photo? (Because, from my limited knowledge of Affinity Photo, the functionality looks similar and I don't know if I've not noticed something that Affinity Photo can do or if I've just explained myself badly).
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2018-05-18 14:44:02

What Pixelmator calls effects are filters in Affinity Photo. Most filters can be used as filter layers called live filters. Live filters affecting every layer beneath or can be nested with pixel layers. Live filters can be masked the same way as pixel layers.
In Photoshop you can convert layers to smart objects. Smart objects can no longer be edited with brushes or other selective tools but you can apply filters und you can mask the filter the same way you mask layers in a filter mask. I thinks something similar would be very useful if not to say important to Pixelmator.
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2018-05-18 15:44:54

Hi Markus.

Thanks for getting back to me. It's a subtle distinction between masking the effect and the layer but I think I've got my head around it.

If I have a group of five layers and want to apply a gaussian blur to only part of the canvas but across the whole group, in Pixelmator Pro I'd duplicate the group, apply the effect and mask the duplicated group. Optionally, if the image is large and complex and I'm worried about performance, I might also flatten the duplicated group.

If I could apply a mask to the blur I wouldn't have to copy anything. Neat.

Thanks again for sharing.

- Stef.